Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sukavati for a dog named Oreo

Last night a few of us got together and had a "sukavati" for Janet Chernin's dog Oreo - yesterday it was 49 days since Oreo died - and in the Buddhist tradition this is the time when Oreo will be moving on to whatever form she is going to take next - if you believe in reincarnation. She might be going to another dog, or a bird, or even taking on human form based on how she was in her last life. It's also a way for the people who loved the dead being to release their grasping of the life that's been taken away and they can never get back.

There's a little ceremony that's done and then at the end a photo of the deceased is burned - to signify that the loved one is truly gone and disappeared into the "ether". The ceremony was performed by a really good friend of Janet's who also happens to be someone really well known in the local Buddhist community - Colleen Logan. It was a really neat thing to go to - and Oreo was a really lucky dog to have it done for her, that's for sure.

Besides the shrine that had Oreo's photo that was going to be burned - there was an area that had another photo - along with a photo of Janet's other dog who died - Ceilidh, with candles to make everything look nice - and both of their ashes.

Oreo's sister Sassy decided to spend the ceremony laying behind me for some reason - I guess she feels like she's enlightened enough already!
Pickle on the other hand spent the ceremony curled up right next to a painting that Janet had commissioned of a bull terrier that's called "ghost dog" that was right next to the shrine - so she could be right in the middle of everything.

Even one of the most soon to be esteemed CEO's of the Clicker Leash Company showed up!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Zen Dog in Japan

Okay, so I had to put this little dog on my blog.

A little dog that's being taught how to meditate? How awesome is that? I mean, really. I know that most people who are Buddhist who have dogs - their dogs quietly lay down beside them while they meditate - that's one of the greatest things about us being Buddhist - our dogs are benifiting from the sideways dharma - but, this little dog is especially generating good stuff I hope. I wonder if the Dalai Llama has any dogs who can do this. Now THAT would be amazing. haha!

Dog Prays at Japanese Zen Temple

NAHA, Japan — At a Zen Buddhist temple in southern Japan, even the dog prays. Mimicking his master, priest Joei Yoshikuni, a 1 1/2-year-old black-and-white Chihuahua named Conan joins in the daily prayers at Naha's Shuri Kannondo temple, sitting up on his hind legs and putting his front paws together before the altar.

It took him only a few days to learn the motions, and now he is the talk of the town.

"Word has spread, and we are getting a lot more tourists," Yoshikuni said Monday.

Yoshikuni said Conan generally goes through his prayer routine at the temple in the capital of Japan's southern Okinawa prefecture (state) without prompting before his morning and evening meals.

"I think he saw me doing it all the time and got the idea to do it, too," Yoshikuni said.

The priest is now trying to teach him how to meditate.

Well, sort of.

"Basically, I am just trying to get him to sit still while I meditate," he explained. "It's not like we can make him cross his legs."